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dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

yeah, it's cross posted to unrooly

EDIT Ok, so now it's $20 with a $3 referral. Sorry about that.

Was anyone else aware that the Direct Marketing Association is going to congress for the right to tell us we DON'T have the right to remove our names from their mailing lists through third party services? (Unless we want to personally call and write them letters every three damn months to remove our names - well, that's as long as they don't take that right away from us, either.) Theyre trying to make it MORE difficult to get off their lists

It's DISGUSTING. Especially in an age where we can order from all those same places on the internet. And ya know what? I'm really glad I no longer get up to FIVE credit card offers a day from the SAME company - all of which will deny me credit anyway. The WASTE of resources, the pollution, just the WASTE.

So yeah, I joined GreenDimes.com about 2 years ago. NEVER BEEN HAPPIER with a service. They even stopped the mail from charities. Not that I don't still give to those charities - but I couldn't get them to stop wasting all that money sending me free stuff and magazines and just crap I don't need! Use the money for the charity work, you dope!!

So yeah. Sign up with them for $15 for LIFE. If you let me know, I an email you a referral and I get $5 of it. <B>I'll collect the money and donate it somewhere good.</B> Maybe Keva? Or maybe just right back to Greendimes. Oh no, wait - clean water? Someplace. Maybe we'll take a vote if more than a couple people sign on.

Really? Totally worth my money. AND you select what you do and don't want to receive. (Still trying to get off all the "resident" mail that's local. It's pretty much impossible.)

BUT I don't get the money unless I email you the referral, so if you want to contribute to the donate pile, send me your email. I'll screen all replies for email privacy. Lemme know if you want to unscreen your reply.

And FWIW - here's the link to the petition that GreenDimes is going to deliver to congress. They're trying to get something like the Do Not Call Registry going. http://www.greendimes.com/user/petition

Yeah, it's an online petition and maybe it won't do any good, but it can't hurt.

If anyone wants junk mail statistics? I'll find them for you. I just still don't have my bookmarks back. (all the recovered info is on the external and I figure I'll deal with that when I have my own machine again.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

Yeah, I know. Ages. But depression is a bitch.

Anyway - some stuff. Ok, more than some stuff.

Today we got good mail. We got the King Corn documentary. Warning - there's MUSIC on the home page. It turns off, lower right of the page, but it's ON when you go there. Can't WAIT to watch it. But it's something I need to watch during the day so I don't just obsess all night instead of sleeping. I'll let you know how it is.

Today we also got our GreenDisk box. The 70 pounder. Is it messed up that I'm excited about this? I think I might try to get one of these over the summer and collect some stuff from people. Dunno. It's something I'd like to do. Maybe even get some folks to donate a couple bucks. It's something I've discussed with Devin, too. But there's also Project KOPEG which does recycling as a fundraiser. Who knew, huh?

Did you know you could recycle old crayons? Crazy Crayons

21 Things You Didn't Know You Can Recycle Always a good link.

Still not using shampoo. For those interested, Evan and I are using saltwater with a few drops of tea tree oil for our "wash". And know what? Evan's skin problems are all but GONE. Really. All those Rx shampoos and stuff, and this did the trick. Course, he just had a cut and color (one of us has to be a girl, I guess) and it acted up within a couple of days. I don't think it's a coincidence. But I also doubt he'll give up his preening ritual. Devin is using baking soda. About a teaspoon in about 2 cups of water. The salt wasn't working for him at all. Now, my hair is never greasy. It's barely greasy after a week of not washing even with water. Devin's is greasy - he's 16. Evan's IS greasy, but it's short. Devin's is longer than mine. So, maybe Evan's does well with the salt just because it's shorter and easier to deal with. Or maybe just everyone's hair - no matter what kind of similarities - acts different. Who knows. Anyhow, we all use a 50/50 white vinegar/water rinse before washing - Evan every time, Devin most of the time, me about half the time (but I wash my hair a lot less anyway) and it helps with the dandruff, too. Devin and I follow up with an apple cider vineger/water rinse. Evan doesn't. Now that that's all clear to everyone... (kidding. but feel free to ask)

I found a use for old grated cheese containers. I put baking soda in them. It's *perfect*. I use it to clean in the bathroom and the kitchen. Plus I use it as a face scrub once in a while. It's so awesome to have it in that container instead of in a jar or a box. I can sprinkle it around now! And it doesn't get all caked, either. I really need to put an open one of these near the cat box - not that the new one smells, just when it gets spilled on the puppy pads. LOVE the new box. LOVE.

Cleaning, plastic containers, plastic recycling, reusing jars, lotions, other stuff. Behind a cut because I love youCollapse )

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

And distracted and depressed and disappointed in myself. I *will* make a real post very soon. I even know what's going to be in it. But for now I'm just going to crosspost this from my other lj. Sorry.

Over the last 11 weeks (OMG yeah, 11) a lot of you have said you wished there was something you could do for me. Also, the holidays are coming up and people have asked what I want.

What I want won't cost you anything. And I MEAN THIS. *THIS* is what I want. If you were planning on getting me a gift, don't worry about it. Just do this! It really will make me feel better. And yes, I am shamelessly preying on your sympathy.

I want 20 minutes. 20 minutes will make me VERY happy.

Watch this adorable 20 minute movie called "The Story of Stuff"

It's work safe, it's not pornographic, it's not offensive. It's not religious, it's not graphic, it's not selling anything. It's a woman and some line drawings. It's purely educational.

After you've watched it, let me kinow you did, and please share it with other people if you think it was worth 20 minutes of your time. Or if you think it's worth 20 minutes of someone else's time. (What's 20 minutes out of 42,000,000?) It's free, it's downloadable, and it's free to share/copy/burn and distribute.

What I love is that it's a lot of information that most people get in snippets and don't always connect, all put together and condensed into 20 minutes of straight forward easy to understand dialogue. It may not be the most riveting movie you've ever seen, but it's wonderful for what it is. It's also very cute, with some LOL comments. (Well, I laughed, anyway.) Besides, this is my 20 minutes, right? And even with all my reading and research, I got a few surprises.

Before people start asking - there's an annotated and footnoted script on the web page that lists all sources of information.

I love Annie Leonard. She's my new hero. I want to be her. Will this change anything? It will change some things. Not enough, but I have to have hope, ya know?

(Oh, and I made a crap icon for it... take it if you want, but I'm going to try to do a better one when I have some time. Which probably won't be tomorrow. There are banners and such to take and use, but I have nowhere to host the image.)

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

Yeah, I've ignored this journal for a while. Not intentionally. Just haven't been feeling well for a while. I'm forcing myself to sit down with a cup of tea and not panic for a few minutes, and since I can't just sit and drink tea - I have to do SOMEthing - I figure I'll update here.

Behind a cut because I adore you.Collapse )

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

Because I haven't been updating here. I shall update to the sound of half asleep growling kitty. How freaking obnoxious - she's growling at the kitten because she's sleeping on the same bed. *rolling eyes* Drama queen.


Worms. Tips on worm composting in your house. Number one - make sure you have lots of ventillation holes AND ventillation around the bin to actually, ya know, ventillate it. Number two - don't skimp on the bedding, which is our case is shredded newspaper. Really. Don't. Skimp. Don't skimp on the ventillation holes, either. Just... don't skimp. You *might* want to skimp on how much you feed the suckers in the beginning. Also, you might want to feed them a varied diet in the first month or so. As in, don't feed them tons of citrus a couple days, and then a ton of something really watery the next few days. I'm not sure that was any of the problem, but I have a feeling all of that was a problem. Mostly I think the lack of proper ventillation and bedding were the biggest issues. We had a BIT of an imbalance and it wasn't fun. I was freakin' gross. It was really easy to handle, but I'd rather have not had to.

In a worm bin there are more than just worms. There are little mites and buggies and such. You need all of these organisms to do the job. And no, really, they STAY in the bin - I don't know why but they do. But when conditions get all whacked - like say, too much acidity and way too much humidity - you might end up with oh... maybe lots and lots and lots of mites instead of just some? And um... some fruit flies? Which don't belong there at ALL. (I blame the bananas - but I always blame the bananas cuz dude, it's ALWAYS the bananas, it's not like I've never had fruit flies before I had a worm bin) We aired out the bin really well, removed the grubs (omg EW and yeah they were in the citrus peels), added more bedding, waited a day or so and then removed the top bedding and replaced it... we also added some LARGE ventillation holes that we covered with screen (ok, so it's actually pink tulle) and laid out some jars with apple cider vinegar which caught - along with a vacuum cleaner a couple times a day to suck up the ones hanging out around the ACV - most of the fruit flies. We didn't feed the worms for a few days and let them work on what they had, then I fed them very carefully and sparingly over a week or so. Everything is now PERFECT.

From now on I will make sure there is ample bedding, even if just to absorb extra liquid and humidiy. From now on I will not add more foods that may contain critter eggs than the worms can eat quickly (aka fruits, especially citrus or banana) and will make sure I balance it out with grains, etc. I will also try to balance out the really wet foods with dryer foods like bread and grains.

Now here's the thing. I still totally blame this on the fact that there's no air in this apartment, let alone under my sink. Because once I fixed the humidity/temp/wetness issues - things VERY quickly righted themselves. I've just been realy cautious since then. Once the balance is restored, I won't worry.

In other news - still shampoo free (except I got my hair colored and they had to wash the dye out and it's natural dye and shampoo, but I still haven't checked to see if there's SLS in it cuz I really don't want to know - but it DID sting to have that stuff on my head which makes me think even more), really really reducing our consumption of things, still managing to stay away from most processed foods even though it sometimes seems completely impossible. Mostly remembering to take my vitamins. Drinking even less soda than ever - still need my gingerale on days when I take my sleeping pills cuz water tastes like BUTT.

Can't decide what to do for food for the new kitten. Have sort of pondered raw, but just haven't gotten up the energy to seriously research it all. I start to, and then don't. I probably won't get around to it until September, because the rest of my summer is BOOKED. (half booked with totally relaxing things, which is good)

And this is supposed to be a quick update so I'm stopping now so I can go take a shower before I have to get the kid from school.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

When you compost with worms in an indoor bin, you start out by putting a certain amount of food in one corner. The next time, you use the next corner, etc. We're going clockwise in our bin and we have 6 spots to bury food - each corner, and the middle of the longest sides. We've gone all the way around. Tonight I went to feed them and we're on what was our second spot. I pulled back the bedding material and...

there was dirt! Nothing but compost. No worms. The worms had done what they wanted to do and moved on completely. There was a layer about a half inch thick of broken down food and newspaper.

This is exactly what they're supposed to do.

And I also saw a teeeny tiny wormie on the top of the bedding when I first opened the bin. He couldn't have been more than a half-inch long and really really skinny. So, we may have our first babies, too. I assume that the babies would be from whatever egg-things came with the bunch of worms we ordered. Though, at some point I'm probably going to have to figure out what to do with all our extras. I only have so much room and eventually they're going to run out of space.

Anyhoo, I was just excited that at least the composting is going well.

Oh, and I have tiny little baby beans growing on the porch. AND my cucumbers are about to flower. AND my pea plants are almost 4 feet high, even if they haven't flowered yet. The new squash and zucchini plants are doing well. The japanese eggplants are well in flower and I *think* a few are starting to grow fruit. The "goddess" eggplants (they're green eggplants) haven't flowered. I think all the peppers have flowered at this point and are growing. The tomato plant is ginormous. The herbs are happy.

My main problems have been the radishes (dammit, cuz I loves me some radishes) and the bunching onions and *some* of the nasturtiums. I haven't quite figured out what's up with those. And of course, the squash plants all dying. Once again we have horrid aphid problems. I'm thinking maybe the nasturtiums aren't helping with the aphid problem, but then the aphids are also mostly on the eggplants which aren't even NEAR any nasturtiums. Dunno.

I need to go to bed now.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

I'm still shampoo free. I have no idea how long it's been now, but I got a lot of compliments last week when some friends I hadn't seen in a while were over. It was kinda cool. Now imagine if I got my lazy, anxiety-ridden ass to the mall to get a trim? The thing with not using shampoo is that you no longer have all those chemicals that hide all your split ends and such. Once I get them all trimmed out, I'll be good, but I need to actually get it trimmed. I did cut a lot off already myself, but I can only do so much on my own. I have a lot of hair.

I've had my worms for a couple weeks now and they're doing great. I can actually see finished compost! Not nearly enough to take out of there yet, but in less than a week you could see it. They were all freaked out at first and climbing up the sides, but they didn't leave the bin - and they totally can get out the bottom holes since they're big enough for them to get through so that later I can coax them into a box above them. I followed these instructions, more or less, for the bin. It made more sense to me for my living situation. (tiny apartment with nowhere to pour out the compost and harvest it in the middle of winter) I started to get a lot of condensation in the bin, which probably means I need more air holes. But I put some more dry shredded newspaper in there last night, and tonight when I opened the bin only ONE worm wasn't down where he was supposed to be. I had suspected I had too little newspaper in the first place, anyway, and that's obviously the case since they're shredding the heck out of what they have and I need more to bury what I feed them. But I think the reason it's so wet in there is mostly because there's not a lot of air under my sink. It's something to consider. Especially if you live in apartment with NO freaking air circulation like we do.

We haven't fed them every night. For the most part it's been every other night. I picked up a food scale at a garage sale for $2 a few days before the worms came and I've actually been weighing the food. We got a pound of worms and supposedly they can eat a half pound of food a day. But they haven't been doing quite that much. I'm sure there are a lot of factors. They're definitely eating a bit more than they were at first. We have 6 spots to bury the food for them, and the first spot has been 90% devoid of food for a few days. Which is the important part.

We've had no problems with fruit flies. It does NOT smell. It smells... earthy. Almost clean. Even with the rotting food in there. (Which sometimes makes me to gag when I get the waste out of the coffee can to feed them - ick.) As long as it's under the newspaper and whatnot there's no smell in the bin. And definitely no smell under the sink or in the kitchen. (except for the cat litter but that's a Whole Apartment problem and has nothing to do with the kitchen or the worms)

The "garden" is doing well. Mostly. Haven't been taking very good care of it the past week or so. The only thing that really didn't make it is the zucchini and the squash. Some bugs found them VERY tasty. And they finished them off while I was ignoring them last week. The radishes and bunching onions didn't do so well, either. In a few of the bins they might end up edible, but in most places they just didn't do well at ALL. I have no idea why, since I've never ever had a problem getting radishes to grow before. Usually I end up with way too many. Of course, I never tried growing them in pots before. The beans are flowering and the eggplants are flowering and the cucumbers are grabbing onto everything in sight. The peppers are peppering and the tomatoes are tomatoing. The lettuce is about done, though. Gotta figure out what to replace them with, because it's going to leave a big gap when they're gone.

I've learned a lot in the last several weeks. Most of it is incredibly depressing. I haven't been able to post much because I've been in a depression, so doing more depressing research and writing depressing things isn't a good idea right now. I'll get some of it out a little at a time soon.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

Just so y'all don't think I forgot this journal....

I still have not used shampoo or conditioner. There have been bumps. Big ones. It's a good thing I don't have a "normal" job and that I have hair that I can put up. But - I have it down. Pretty much what I'm doing now is NOT using baking soda, I'm using a saltwater solution (1/4 tsp to 2 c water for now - sea salt w/out any non-caking agents) once a week-ish, a 50/50 white vinegar pre-rinse when my hair needs it (when it's kinda sticky - which hasn't happened in a while - or I get a bit flaky), and an apple cider vinegar rinse a few times a week (about 6 tbsp ACV to 4 c water), and some days I just water wash. My mother - who is still freaked out by this - is actually supportive now that my hair looks just as clean as before.

The benefits: OMG it weighs so much less. Even when I have a headache I can put it up in a ponytail. It dries MUCH faster. It's so wavy I can hardly stand it - though some days are much better than others. I'm saving a heck of a lot of money now that I'm not using it (shampoo/conditioner) and neither is Devin. AND - I'm using less plastic. w00t!

I'm doing rather good on the Not Buying Crappy Food front. *Very very* little processed food. I'm making larger meals and freezing single serving portions. We bought a food saver/ vaccuum sealer thing. Which does use plastic. But I wash and reuse it. I lose a couple inches each time. But in the long run I'm not using as much plastic and I'm also wasting less food. I'm searching for the vaccuum seal lids as cheap as I can find them. Instead of buying the plastic canisters, I want just the lids to use with glass jars. They're 'spensive. Which is why I'm searching for them. I haven't tried too hard yet.

I read recently about freezing in glass containers. Has anyone done this? I've lived my whole life being told this will shatter glass so I'm having a hard time with it. Which is ridiculous since I was also told I need shampoo....

I'm using Dr Bronner's castille soap for body and hand soap now. Which I probably mentioned before. I'm also using it as a dish soap, which wasn't going so well at the beginning. I diluted it (it can be seriously diluted, saving more money and plastic packaging, btw) but it was leaving a kind of coating on the sink. I tried adding baking soda, which didn't work so well. That seems to be a hard water problem. Our local water supply has been extra extra hard lately. We live in a city famous for it's mineral springs, it happens. This time I used just sea salt. It's working. Still a little bit of a film, but notsomuch. I notice now that I have DISH SPOTS!!! (someone must remember those commercials) If I dry the dishes with a towel, I don't have spots. Cheaper in the long run, better for the environment, and I'm using less plastic. Go me.

My worms came today!!!!! I watched them for a while burrowing under the papers I had in there. I don't want to peek in on them again and disturb them. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

I'm seriously thinking about putting some money aside for a nice composter to keep at my mother's house. She has a backyard. We both have fibromyalgia, which makes it hard for us to use a pitchfork to turn things on most days, and Amanda (who has down syndrome, in case you weren't aware) cannot exactly be trusted with an open compost pile. Or an open anything. I have a nice big plastic coffee can with a lid that I'm putting possible compostables in. I'm at my mother's house at least twice a week. Heh. More like at least 5 times a week - I do my laundry there and I WORK there so I'm there a bit. While keeping a garden there is difficult, I'm not sure this would be so hard. It's a thought.

Container plants on the porch are doing FABULOUSLY. I'm excited. Pictures soon, really. No, really.

I'm sure there's more. But that's all for now.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

no_impact_man posted today about the IPCC's conclusions and recommendations.


I'm hoping some people who have their heads in the sand will read his post over in my other lj (unrooly) so I've posted it over there.

Last night I was actually crying - because no one cares. It's hard enough when people are lazy (like I was) and do nothing - but what just KILLS me is that so many people just don't give a shit. So I have a long ranty post coming up. But it's hard for me to write (emotionally exhausting) so it might still be a couple days.

dirtyhugshipper [userpic]

My hair... http://pics.livejournal.com/unrooly/pic/0001b8b5/g11

it's not as curly as it was... but I wasn't being careful.

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